Four exhaustingly miserable, soul-crushing, and stunningly deadly years ago, Donald Trump somehow spent $107 million on a poorly attended inauguration ceremony that featured such iconic musical acts as Toby Keith, Three Doors Down, and a group called the Piano Guys that we described in 2017 as “some YouTubers who all play a single piano at the same time.” In September of that year, reports came out that nobody was really sure how it cost $107 million, but like every other single scandal of the Trump administration, it conveniently seemed to fade away the instant another scandal came along. Soon we can forget all about Toby Keith and the Piano Guys, though, because we’re only a few days out from Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, and it sounds like his event is going to have some actual star-power.
As reported by Harper’s Bazaar, Biden’s inauguration (which will be understandably pared-down, given the ongoing pandemic and the treasonous riot that Trump incited last week) will feature Lady Gaga performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and an undisclosed performance of some sort from Jennifer Lopez. Andrea Hall, the first Black woman to be promoted to captain in the history of South Fulton, Georgia, will lead the Pledge Of Allegiance, with first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reading a poem (that’s what poet laureates tend to do).
That night, during primetime, Tom Hanks will host a TV special called Celebrating America that will feature performances from Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, and Jon Bon Jovi. Now, it might seem a little tasteless to put on an event called Celebrating America so soon after an attempted coup that left multiple people dead, but the triumphant tone implied by that name could be read as a polite little “fuck you” to Donald Trump, so that’s pretty cool.